I believe very strongly that we are not meant to do life alone. We need other people to help us on our journey. We need other people to walk alongside us.
3 people we need in our lives
(These are taken from Gordon MacDonald’s book “Restoring Your Spiritual Passion”. In the book he shares 6 people we need in our lives.)
1. A mentor.
These are people who usher us into opportunity and possibility. They are usually close by and can be drawn upon when courage, guidance, or assurance is needed that a path is chosen is the right one.
The mentor is not necessarily a friend. They enter our lives for a specific purpose and for a given period of time. There is usually an objective to the relationship: to develop a younger or more inexperienced person into something.
2. The affirmer or the encourager.
These are people who move alongside and inspire us as we act out our destiny. The affirmer takes up where the mentor leaves off.
We must not mistake affirmation for the empty compliments that carelessly get tossed about in human relationships.
Affirmation is the genuine act of mutual discovery and evaluation.
Affirmation is not impulsive, and is not given with the motive of obtaining a reciprocal favour.
Affirmation is one person’s assistance to another so that he or she can see the life of God in action and in being.
When affirmation is denied it leaves people struggling, wondering if their contribution is substantial, whether or not it makes a difference.
I have experienced both the work of the affirmer and the “de-firmer”. The de-firmer works from insensitivity, ignorance, indifference, or (worse yet) plain, pure malice.
We not only have to be able to spot the de-firmer coming at us, but we need to ask ourselves if we too have been guilty of de-firmation on occasions. It is easy to become a de-firmer and not know it until too late.
3. The rebuker.
It takes courage to include the rebuker in your life. For what they say often hurts and leaves bruises on the spirit.
But we may be talking about the most important people we need in our lives. We all need truth-tellers, even if we don’t really want them.
The writers of the book of Proverbs put a great premium on the position of the rebuker. Proverbs 27:5, 6 says,
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
Truth telling is in short supply in our world. Our relationships often include those who are willing to speak the truth behind our backs but not in front. The former is destructive; the latter constructive.
One rarely grows without a rebuke. One solid and loving rebuke is worth a hundred affirmations.
But rebuke and criticism are two different things. Criticism is that de-firmation that we talked about earlier.
The rebuker rebukes at great risk. And we, who at any moment become the rebuked, must be careful to listen intently, thanking the rebuker for truth that was shared at such high cost.
Do you have these 3 people in your life?